To prepare for the estimated one million people who will visit “Super Bowl City,” a makeshift retail and media circus being set up in downtown San Fransisco, the city is busy cleaning the streets, scheduling additional police and sweeping its homeless problem under the rug.
For years the city, long considered a bastion of liberal principles, has been under fire for its treatment, or lack thereof, for the large number of homeless people living in the Market Street area. Tent cities, cardboard boxes and even wooden structures that look almost permanent dot the landscape. At least — they did.
The homeless problem wasn’t something San Francisco gave a ton of attention to solving until recently when it was decided that all of a sudden these poor people needed help finding more permanent shelter. City workers have been working diligently to erase the homeless from public view in hopes that they won’t offend the typical A-list of people who show up for Super Bowls.
The city has managed to find the space and the money for 500 additional beds for those in need, but advocates for the homeless aren’t taking the bait. Jennifer Friedenbach of the San Francisco-based Coalition on Homelessness told Bloomberg:
They want to decrease the physical presence and reminder of poverty and create an illusion that poverty does not exist by removing poor people from the vicinity of the Super Bowl Party.
That is absolutely true. Mayor Ed Lee himself told local news back in August that the homeless people in the area would have to leave. “We’ll give you an alternative. We are always going to be supportive. But you are going to have to leave the streets,” said the mayor.
The project comes with an estimated $5 million cost footed by the taxpayers.
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Featured image via sfexaminer.com